Pumpkin, spice & everything nice in these super soft and chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies. The perfect recipe for fall!
Can you believe we’re already almost half way through September??? Have you been hopping on the fall bandwagon? Raking leaves & picking apples?
Last weekend I spent Saturday enjoying the sunshine (and getting a sunburn). Then Sunday arrived and fall came overnight. The air was crisp, the leaves were yellow & orange, baristas were in full force making pumpkin spice lattes, and everyone made the wardrobe transition from cutoffs to cable knit sweaters. Seriously, the fall-ness was in overdrive.
Now, when it comes to fall – I always feel like there’s 2 groups of people: the ones rejoicing and the ones dreading the end of summer. I typically fall into the latter, but I love fall because it’s the perfect excuse to get back in the kitchen and start baking. I’ve been slacking.
Plus, there’s so many delicious fall flavors for inspiration: pumpkin, apples, zucchini, sweet potato… pumpkin… maple…. pumpkin. Everything tastes warm, cozy & delicious.
So to start off the autumn inspired treats (even if you’re still lounging by the pool)- today we’re making pumpkin cookies. Soft, chewy, never cakey, pumpkin cookies that are filled with vanilla, spices and brown sugar goodness.
Think of them like pumpkin snickerdoodles. Or the fall cousin of soft & chewy ginger molasses cookies. Seriously, the flavor is off the hook.
So what makes these pumpkin cookies so delicious you ask???? (Apart from the pumpkin I mean)
First, we’re starting with real butter (not margarine or shortening) for the most flavor. Then we’re using a combo of brown sugar and white sugar. Whenever I can use brown sugar in baking, I almost always opt for it because it adds a delicious caramel undertone and creates super chewy cookies. A total win-win.
Then we’re adding lots of vanilla (no skimping here), and a combo of cinnamon, nutmeg & ground cloves. The star of the show is obviously pumpkin – but it’s the brown sugar, vanilla & spices really make it shine. It’s a fall party of flavors. And me & my cable knit sweaters, fall booties and plethora of scarves are joining in on the fun.
One of the really important things I wanted in these cookies was for them to be chewy & cookie-like in texture. We add a lot of moisture with the pumpkin, so we need to be careful. To combat the extra moisture/water added with the pumpkin – you’ll notice that there’s only 1 egg yolk in the batter (make sure not to add the whole egg). And we’re using cornstarch and cream of tarter to keep them soft and chewy.
Then the cookie dough is chilled prior to baking, and we’ll form the dough into balls and roll them in cinnamon sugar. Could you honestly think of anything better???? The cinnamon sugar adds a delicious coating, extra cookie texture, and that perfect snickerdoodle-esque appearance. Seriously, the deliciousness factor of these pumpkin cookies is off the chain.
If you love pumpkin – make sure to try these favorites too:
- Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts – I could honestly eat these cake doughnuts for breakfast from September 1st – December 1st
- Pumpkin Cheesecake – An awesome alternative to pumpkin pie.
- Pumpkin Bread – I made this for Jay’s work and it was gone before noon….
What’s on your fall baking to-do list?
- 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- In a large bowl whisk together the first 8 ingredients from the flour to the ground cloves (for about 30 seconds). Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl using a hand held or stand electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Turn the mixer down to low then beat in the egg yolk, vanilla and pumpkin. Slowly add in the flour mixture, turning off the electric mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula as necessary. The dough will be very sticky. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line 2 cookie trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a small bowl whisked together the sugar and cinnamon for the cinnamon sugar coating. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, form the dough into balls of about 1.5 tablespoons in size, then roll in the cinnamon sugar coating.
- Place the cookies on the cookie sheets about 2 inches apart and bake for about 7-9 minutes until the tops look almost set.